CVS Refuses Foreign ID To Buy "Plan B" Birth Control

Reader John and his friend Michelle found themselves in a situation where they needed to get “Plan B” birth control, also known as “the morning after pill.” They went to their local CVS in Hawthorne, CA. and met an uncooperative pharmacist who refused them access to the pills because Michelle only had foreign ID to prove she is of legal age. (18+) The pharmacist also refused John’s state issued ID with the reason that it could not be sold to man, however, the FDA’s website clearly says that Plan B can be sold OTC to a man or woman who is 18 or over. Find out what happened to John and Michelle, inside….

Ok, so we had an “accident” with our condom. We decided before it was too late to purchase the famous PlanB at a local CVS pharmacy. When we got there the pharmacist requested a “state issued I.D.”. My friend is visiting so she does not have a state-issued I.D. so she showed her Colombian citizenship ID that clearly shows her date of birth as well as her picture and signature. The pharmacist did not even look at it and rejected it because it was not a US-issued I.D.

So I told her, “What if someone is here illegally and is raped? Would that mean they don’t have the right to buy Plan B?” She kept saying “It’s the law.” I got really mad and told her that was absurd. Then I told her that I had a state-issued I.D. and she said that it could only be purchased by the person who is going to take it, which basically means it can only be sold to women.

So we went back home and I searched online for information about purchasing Plan B, and I found on the FDA’s website that as long as you are over 18, you can buy it, no matter if you are a male or a female.

I printed this information and headed back to the pharmacy. I confronted the pharmacist and told her that the law protects me as a consumer and that I had the right to buy the pill. She did not even look at the information I had printed and kept saying “It’s the law.”

We ended up buying it from another CVS pharmacy in the area. The pharmacist there was very polite. At the beginning she did not know that the law allows ANYONE over 18 to purchase it but she did not have a problem verifying her age with a foreign-issued ID.

Please publish this story. People need to know their rights. Thank you Consumerist!

We sympathize with you both. It sounds like this CVS pharmacist put you through a lot of trouble for no good reason because according to the FDA’s website, a man or woman can purchase Plan B if they are 18 or older and does not mention the exclusion of foreign identification. From the FDA’s website:

7a. How can I purchase over-the-counter Plan B?

In order to purchase Plan B over-the-counter, personal identification showing proof of age (18) is required. Plan B will be available behind the counter at the pharmacy in order to manage both prescription (17 years and under) and OTC (18 years and over) dispensing. This means Plan B will not be sold at gas stations or convenience stores, where other OTC products are routinely available.

7b. Can men purchase Plan B? (added 12/14/2006)

Yes. Plan B OTC is approved to allow OTC availability of Plan B for consumers 18 years and older. Plan B remains available by prescription only for women 17 years and younger.

We’re happy to hear that the second CVS store accepted the foreign ID, even though neither store was aware that it could be legally purchased by a man of legal age. You should talk to the head pharmacists at both stores and inform them of the FDA’s rules regarding Plan B. Also contact the store managers and let them know that the pharmacy is not operating within the FDA’s guidelines. If that doesn’t help then keep moving up the chain of command until the problem is acknowledged and corrected. You could also file a complaint with the California State Board of Pharmacy. It might sound like a lot of trouble but doing so will help ensure that others won’t have to endure similar headaches.
(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. Lucky225 says:

    Specifically not selling to a male ALSO violates california law.

  2. IvanD says:

    Post that CVS location’s information so that we can call and ask for comment.

  3. apotheosis says:

    Your pharmacist was a Vogon.

  4. JustinAche says:

    At least you ended up getting it…when I was in Egypt, we had a lapse in judgement (read, heat of the moment), and spent the next full day in Cairo trying to find the morning after pill….in a muslim country…yea, we found one, eventually, but jesus that was a trip

  5. timmus says:

    Post the CVS location… why are we giving them safe haven here?

  6. facted says:

    We had a situation in which the pharmacist didn’t even know where in the store Plan B was and kept telling us to search the whole store by ourselves (meanwhile, it was behind the counter). She refused to ask her co-workers where it was and was just incredibly unhelpful.

    We called the manager the next day and he was very, very helpful and offered to have the employee call us with an apology (not what we were looking for). However, he said they would retrain all the employees on the actual location of the products. Call the managers of the stores in question!!

  7. apotheosis says:

    @timmus:

    Post the CVS location… why are we giving them safe haven here?

    Well, obviously Consumerist is in league with the Vatican and working to suppress any attempt to terminate pregnancies. This will figure heavily into the coming war of attrition with the legions of the damned in 2012, in which we will desperately need numbers on our side.

    Or, y’know, maybe the info just wasn’t included in the letter.

  8. azntg says:

    I think a stern talk to the managers (and escalating) is in order here.

  9. MaliBoo Radley says:

    I can’t even imagine how much upsetting this would be. The funny thing is, if I were in this situation, it would be my husband out buying the pill. I’d probably in bed feeling quite nervous and just wanting to take the pill and be done with it.

    I hope more of these places will realise that men are aloud to buy the pill as well.

  10. statnut says:

    I’m betting the pharmacist is pro-life.

  11. chemicalx9 says:

    maybe the pharmacist had a moral objection to selling and used the law as a shield. Its a poor excuse, but we have the right to refuse anything to anyone at anytime.
    I for one sell it all the time as long as the age rquirement is met with a state or government id (foreign or not). I find it hard to believe that the CVS pharmacists were not aware of the law.

  12. DoubleEcho says:

    @statnut: If they are Pro Life, then it’s too bad for them. They were presented with the facts from the FDA website itself stating that men are allowed to buy the drug, and refused him. They’re allowed to have their beliefs, but the law pertaining to their profession needs to be followed.

  13. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @statnut:

    Probably. They probably though that the ID thing would be a more reasonable sounding excuse than the religious nonsense.

    I wish people like that would seek other lines of work, or just pass the work on to someone who actually wants to do their job.

  14. facted says:

    @chemicalx9: A right to refuse anything to anyone at anytime?

    According to who? You cannot break the law and fail to sell Plan B to someone if they are above 18 years of age, regardless of whether you agree with its purpose or not. That is federal law.

  15. enine says:

    Unfortunatly complainging to the CVS manager is of no help, we tried that one time when they pharmacist would not take our insurance because they would have to “manually process”. The CVS manager aparently has no authority over the pharmacy and the pharmacists are capable of making those kind of decisions and no one at cvs corporate can overturn them. We ended up finding a small family owned pharmacy that we could purchase my wife’s diabetic supplies and haven’t bought anything from a CVS in a few years now.

  16. vladthepaler says:

    i don’t think it’s reasonable to expect a pharmacist to be able to recognize an authentic Columbian ID card. Quite reasonable to reject that; where was the girl’s passport?

    Not selling to the man, particularly when he could show that the law allowed it, is ridiculous though.

    Why don’t you say which CVS this incident took place at, and list the pharmacist’s name? That way consumers will know which CVS to avoid.

  17. chrisjames says:

    @facted: What’s the federal law, that you are required to sell Plan B to someone 18 or older if they request it, or that you are not allowed to sell to someone under 18?

  18. chemicalx9 says:

    @facted:
    There is no “law” for Plan B. There are only guidelines for its sale from the FDA. The FDA regulates the sale, but like any other good or service does not enforce the sale other than what falls within its guidelines.

    Recently WA state made an attempt to force pharmacists to sell / dispense any rx / drug…it was struck down by the supreme court as unconstitutional. Only the states who regulate the practice of pharmacy may make laws regarding the compulsory sale of Plan B

  19. johnva says:

    @chemicalx9: Screw “moral objections” that involve telling other people what to do. If they refuse to do their job, they should be fired. I don’t care if they have some imaginary reason why they can’t do it.

    Taking a moral stand requires that you sacrifice sometimes. These pharmacists want it both ways – being able to push their morality on others while being protected from repercussions.

    Although yeah, it’s not clear if this particular person was lying about their reasons or was just stupid and uninformed. Either way, they should face discipline from corporate or their manager.

  20. unklegwar says:

    i like the euphamisms.

    His “friend” from Columbia.

    Heh.

  21. johnva says:

    @vladthepaler: Is it THAT big a deal if they someone who is under 18 somehow gets their hands on this OTC product? We all know that political posturing by conservatives is the only reason that the age limit exists in the first place (if you don’t believe me, Google for articles about the debate on making Plan B OTC). The pharmacist should have just let them have it. Sometimes strictly following regulations serves no purpose, and it’s better to just bend the rules slightly when you have reasonable reason to believe the person is 18. And in any case, you’re right, they should have sold it to the guy.

  22. harryhoody says:

    I bet CVS will be “taking this very seriously.”

  23. BSAKat says:

    @unklegwar:
    She’s from Columbia, you totally wouldn’t know her…

  24. apotheosis says:
  25. MBPharmD says:

    @facted:

    So all doctors should be FORCED to perform abortions, right? Because heaven forbid a pharmacist not do something they’re morally opposed to.

    (FWIW, I have no problem dispensing the pill and think that any pharmacist who refuses to do so is ethically obligated to find a pharmacy nearby that will do so).

  26. johnva says:

    @apotheosis: If they don’t own their own business, yep, it should be legal to fire them. If you take a job that requires you to violate your religious beliefs, then you should be willing to be fired over it if taking a stand on it is that important to you. Otherwise don’t take that job. They’re not being fired for holding a certain belief; they’re being fired for refusing to do their job.

    Now, if there is some other way that the employer can easily accommodate both the religious belief and their customers then I don’t see a problem with that. For example, if a pharmacy has more than one pharmacist on duty I don’t see a problem with the one that has a moral objection to birth control simply asking that the other pharmacist fill those prescriptions. But patients just not getting their prescriptions is not an acceptable solution.

  27. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @apotheosis:

    Yeah, they should be fired. Do your job or GTFO.

    @MBPharmD:

    Not all doctors. But those who are in the OB/GYN should.

    As for the pharmacists, they should quit their jobs if they’re so morally opposed to medicine.

  28. johnva says:

    @MBPharmD: Doctors being forced to perform abortions is a really poor analogy. If you’re a doctor and you don’t want to perform abortions, don’t take a job as an abortion doctor. If you’re a pharmacist and you don’t like dispensing birth control, don’t take a job that requires you to do so (get a job at a Catholic hospital or something instead). But don’t screw people over just because you think you should be able to randomly refuse to perform job duties and then expect to keep your job.

  29. DoubleEcho says:

    @MBPharmD: That’s what abortion clinics are for. Just because you’re a doctor, doesn’t mean that you specialize in every facet of medicine.

  30. apotheosis says:

    @johnva:

    They’re not being fired for holding a certain belief; they’re being fired for refusing to do their job.

    …as a result of their beliefs. ACLU Lawsuits and indignation soon to follow.

    Don’t get me wrong, I agree with you; I’m just taking a devil’s advocate position here. I seem to recall a similar situation with Islamic cashiers at Target who refused to ring up pork products, which was resolved by moving the cashiers to different positions in the store.

  31. jswilson64 says:

    @MBPharmD: Hey, if you’re morally opposed to doing something that your employer wants you to do, sounds like you should seek employment elsewhere, not try to force your beliefs on someone else.

  32. wgrune says:

    @apotheosis:

    Yes, they should. Here in Minnesota we have a lot of Somali cab driver who were refusing to pick people up at the airport who had purchased liquor and had it with them. Do your job or quit.

  33. nuttycakes says:

    This isn’t about being pro-life–this is about being anti-choice. @johnva: Exactly.

  34. jswilson64 says:

    @apotheosis: Exactly. If you’re a pharmacist and don’t want to dispense an in-stock, legal medication, the store should move you to another job. Like using your expensive Pharmacy degree to help you push a broom around the store.

  35. johnva says:

    @apotheosis: The Islamic cashiers thing could probably be relatively reasonably accommodated by the employer, like I said, at a big store like Target. They could just call someone else over to ring up those products in that situation. In the case of a pharmacy, a single person may well be the only one on location licensed to dispense a drug at any given time. So in that case by refusing to dispense they are violating both the rights of the patient to obtain a legal drug (and, worse, a time sensitive one in this case), and the rights of their employer to make revenue from that sale. I mean, could the lone clerk at a hardware store get away with telling all the customers they have a “moral objection” to selling lumber and turning people towards a competitor? This refusal is just as random as that.

  36. IrisMR says:

    @apotheosis: Damn right they should. You can’t refuse to carry a guide dog. Plus, they’re being jackasses.

  37. Buran says:

    @facted: You’re not supposed to discriminate by gender, I don’t think.

  38. strangeffect says:

    UGH this sort of thing infuriates me. What century is this? We are way behind in distributing this medication.

  39. I do wish this store’s information was included; they deserve the calls (or whatever) they would get as a result. Perhaps the OPs are trying to stay anonymous though.

    The only time I’ve needed Plan B, I was in college, and the school simply gave it to me at the nurse’s office, no fuss. But sometimes I wish I did need it, because if I was refused it, I would throw the BIGGEST FIT IMAGINABLE. And then I would call the news, and stand in front of the store while I threw a fit on TV.

    There are two people who have the right to make decisions about what drugs a person does and does not get: Themselves, and their doctor. As this is a very safe drug that the FDA has determined doesn’t require a doctor’s input, that leaves the individual. Anybody else can FUCK RIGHT OFF, because their opinions/beliefs/whatever have NO place in it.

  40. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @Mary Marsala with Fries:

    Word! Or rather, I concur.

  41. Shadowman615 says:

    @timmus: Hmmm, there are quite a few CVS stores in Hawthorne.
    [maps.google.com]

    Well, that settles it, I’m just not going to any of those! That will also save me a 2,500+ mile drive, so it’s truly a win-win.

  42. BlondeGrlz says:

    @Mary Marsala with Fries: Amen. A friend tried to get Plan B in very rural Oklahoma and had a terrible time finding a pharmacist who wasn’t morally opposed or “out of stock”. I wished I had been there to throw a pissed off temper tantrum.

  43. johnva says:

    @Mary Marsala with Fries: Personally, I think Plan B should be on accessible store shelves and not behind a pharmacy counter. I suspect that part of the motivation behind regulating it in this way was just to provide an opportunity for fundamentalist pharmacists to refuse to dispense it.

  44. Phexerian says:

    Ok. The FDA regulates the restrictions on Plan B. They also enforce the law when the law is broken. No law was broken. Depending on the state, the pharmacist may be able to refuse to sell it for any reason at all (not that it is good business practice). Some states do not allow that. On the basis that it was a foreign ID, the pharmacist is correct. Only government issued IDs are acceptable. However, when the male used his government issued ID to buy it, there was no a problem. So why did the pharmacist refuse? If it was based on morals then I completely disagree. A Pharmacist should not push their beliefs on another individual. Are they themselves taking the Plan B? No. I believe it is highly UNETHICAL and unprofessional to do such a thing.

    Further more, do not complain to the store manager. Call the pharmacy, and ask for the district manager’s name and phone number and the name of the pharmacist who refused to sell you the product. Complain directly to the district manager. This doesn’t mean you will get anywhere since most of them are complete morons when it comes to management, however, they have the authority over the pharmacies of the area. If the district manager (who are also pharmacists) will not fix the problem, ask for the name and number of his superior and work your way up.
    Taking it to the board of pharmacy is a pretty strenuous complaint. This matter I think should be resolved through the corporation. No need to have someone’s license suspended over a matter this small. You wouldn’t want to hurt someone financially over a matter like this? I wouldn’t.

    The MD analogy of abortions is not equivalent. OB/GYNs are a specialty and trained to perform these procedures. If they will not do that procedure then they should work in a place that doesn’t do them. Just as a retail pharmacist is trained in retail medications and OTC medications, if they don’t want to dispense what they have in stock from personal beliefs they should find another place of employment.

    I know that many states are trying to have legislation passed that protects a pharmacist if they refuse to sell Plan B which I completely disagree with.

    Would a criminal attorney not represent an accused person if they believed they were not innocent? No. Their job is to argue their case regardless of what they feel about their client.

    I must say, I have worked for CVS in the past as a pharmacy student, and quite frankly, most of it’s employees, managers, and some pharmacists are completely oblivious to the state pharmacy and labor laws that surround the employment place. Better to go to the smaller pharmacies who offer better customer service and who aren’t completely incompetent overall. BTW, CVS is also known for trying to steal tax payer money and bribing government employees. Look it up.

    -Phex
    -3rd Year PharmD/MBA Candidate

  45. dragonfire81 says:

    Most people really don’t give a shit about the law when it comes in to conflict with their religious beliefs.

    Check out the story about the Muslim cab driver, he was charged and fined but still didn’t care because he would NOT violate his religious beliefs for anything, even if doing so resulted in an illegal act.

  46. Kali Mama says:

    I’m Dutch and I could just get a morning after pill for less than €15, it’s right next to the pregnancy tests. Just seeing it there made me think of the absurdity the Americans have to go through to get emergency birth control.

  47. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @dragonfire81:

    And you can add that to the list of reasons that I think religious beliefs are crazy.

  48. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @Kali Mama:

    This isn’t a bad country as such, but we do have to deal with some puritanical bullshit in order to enjoy the other benefits of living here.

  49. matuszek says:

    Here was our experience: we got the prescription, went to the Rite Aid. The guy behind the counter said they didn’t carry it, but gave her a card with a number, which he hand-wrote, that he said she could call for help.

    I smelled a rat and Googled the number. It was a religious pregnancy counseling center.

    We called a few more pharmacies, including a CVS, and the Super Fresh was the first one that actually carried it. We told the story to the pharmacist there and she was shocked.

    We have filled every prescription at Super Fresh since then.

    I had read about this kind of thing happening in little rural towns, but this was in a middle-class suburb of Baltimore. We were both clearly over 18. We had a prescription (from a, you know, DOCTOR). And we were in it together. I can only imagine how up the creek a younger, more scared, more alone woman in this situation would have been.

    The Rite Aid (boo): 8601 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City MD.
    The Super Fresh (yay): 3301 North Ridge Rd, Ellicott City MD.

  50. johnva says:

    @dragonfire81: Well then, they shouldn’t care if they get fired. I fully support employers’ right to fire any pharmacist that refuses to dispense certain prescriptions for “moral” reasons. I would go further and say that they should also be allowed to ask during the hiring process if the prospective employee would have any moral objection to doing their job.

    Yes, there is a bit of a dilemma here for the law because of the conflict of “rights”. This dilemma, however, is completely the fault of the people who think they have a right to push their subjective beliefs on others. In the past, this wouldn’t have been much of a problem because people had the common sense to not take jobs that conflict with their beliefs. For example, would a Christian fundamentalist take a job as an exotic dancer and then complain that the job duties require them to take their clothes off? And then refuse to do it, while also demanding that they not be fired? This whole “problem” is the result of people who seem to be putting themselves in positions just to try to force other people into line with their own beliefs.

  51. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @johnva:

    I always figure these people take these jobs just so they can “witness” or “minister” to the “unsaved”. It’s nuts, but that’s what you get with a proselytizing religion.

  52. bravo369 says:

    This pharmacist might have morally objected to Plan B. I think any pharmacist who denies a customer of a plan B or any other product because of their own personal moral beliefs should be fired, have their license taken away and never work in the industry again.

  53. kbarrett says:

    The proper course would be to make a complaint to the state medical board.

    This is what is known as a “ethical boundary violation”. It is enough to get the person who does it de-certified.

    The twit who handed over a religious counseling center card instead of the drugs can have his cert. removed, and just opened the pharmacy he worked ( as well as himself ) for up to a lawsuit.

  54. kbarrett says:

    Yep … if some zealot wants to be martyred, then oblige him by doing your best to get him fired.

  55. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @kbarrett:

    Indeed. It seems that offering religion instead of medicine is Christian Science …

    [www.myfoxnewisconsin.com]

    And that’s where that can get you.

  56. Pro-Pain says:

    Stupid. Stupid. Stupid f’n people. Goddamn. This CVS idiot dolt would be so fired. Oh so fired…

  57. LJKelley says:

    If people can use their religion, is it not right that Apple fanbois can use their morals to reject selling Microsoft products should they work at Target, or you know I don’t like pork so I can just refuse.

    No, do your job or get another job. I know if I was the manager in such an incident there would be one warning and then one “Security, please escort this idiot out of the store”

    Of course on the other hand, people were fired for standing up to Mortgage fraud. So yes its right to refuse to do something against the law. But you know the job before you signed up and working at Target is probably gonna include pork and working at a Pharmacy is gonna include Birth Control.

  58. Wow, that’s just insane. Even if you are pro-life, getting the morning after pill isn’t an abortion, it’s prevention. Odds are, conception wouldn’t have occurred anyway. BUT it’s just more of a guarantee, for peace of mind… I find it a very responsible move, accidents happen. I would suggest checking out planned parenthood. Here in NY they were advertising on the radio free birth control AND Plan B packets, regardless of age. Sometimes, it’s just easier that way.

  59. Me - now with more humidity says:

    kali mama: absurdity is what America does best these days, unfortunately. I love this country, but it embarrasses the hell out of me sometimes.

  60. Aphex242 says:

    It’s unfortunate the lengths that zealots will go to enforce their world view on others.

    Do your damn job. It’s not like most cops enjoy shooting people, or IRS auditors get a kick out of ruining people’s lives, etc. Your employer pays you to perform a function. If that function conflicts with some ethical standard you have for yourself, QUIT. Nobody’s holding a gun to your empty, addle-brained head. You’re not getting paid to preach, you’re not getting paid to evangelize, you’re getting paid to be a PHARMACIST.

    Disgusting.

  61. Trai_Dep says:

    I’m so glad that minors never get raped, have their contraception fail or (stupidly) have unprotected sex.
    Is your seventeen-year-old sexually precocious and as smart as a stump?
    Outlaw Plan B.
    Phew! Problem solved!

    The scary thing? These bad parents end up “winning” more, in a Darwinist sense. There’s irony in that, somewhere.

  62. bravo369 says:

    what next? the vegetarian at the grocery store is going to refuse to ring me up because i’m buying a steak?

  63. @apotheosis: Yes. They should. If you can’t/won’t do the job, get another job and stop making life hell for other people. What if I were an engineer who believed that pi=3? Would you expect any company to keep me on in the name of religious tolerance? Would you buy a car knowing it was designed by engineers whose religious stupidity/insanity trumps basic mathematics and physical science?

    Why, then, do people tolerate MDs, pharmacists, etc., who allow their religious stupidity/insanity to interfere with the performance of their duties?

    Why do we continue to elect politicians who allow their religious stupidity/insanity to interfere with the performance of their duties?

    Why do we continue to retain teachers who allow their religious stupidity/insanity to interfere with the performance of their duties?

    Enough of this shit. I thought this country was enlightened or something. It’s no better in many ways than the godforsaken sand piles we send our benighted troops to.

  64. johnva says:

    @LJKelley: A big problem with allowing people to use religion as an excuse to refuse job duties is that you can make up anything and claim it’s your religious belief. Religion is subjective and not objectively verifiable. So that could become a blanket excuse people could use to refuse any job duty they want. Laws trying to protect pharmacists who do this stuff are even worse, because they are specifically privileging a certain religious belief over others, and could lead to more and more religion getting enshrined into law as acceptable behavior.

  65. Propaniac says:

    Ignoring all the moral, ethical and legal discussion: I’ve heard Dr. Drew on Loveline recommend several times that anyone who thinks they could need Plan B in the future (such as any sexually active couple who doesn’t want to get pregnant) should go ahead and buy it BEFORE they need it. Just keep it in your medicine cabinet and then, if you ever have a problem, you won’t have to worry about driving around to pharmacies and dealing with uncooperative pharmacists while the clock is ticking. There’s no law that says you have to have already had unprotected sex before you can buy the pill.

  66. DaChicken says:

    The problem here isn’t one of what’s legal. It’s one of what’s ethical. While the pharacist’s personal ethics might say that abortion is wrong, the ethical guidelines for pharmacology require her to act in the best interests of the patient and to respect that the beliefs of the patient may differ from her own.

    Code of Ethics:
    [www.uspharmd.com]

    The fact that she is also bound by her conscience and duty to society suggests that she can deny the request, but the guidelines strictly state that she has to direct the patient to another health care professional.

    This kind of action shouldn’t get you fired from the job or arrested. It should make you lose your accreditation as a pharmacist.

  67. johnva says:

    @Propaniac: That is EXCELLENT advice. I agree that it’s a good idea to buy it in advance.

  68. DaChicken says:

    @verucalise: The morning after pill works by preventing the fertilized egg from embedding in the uterine wall. Since fertilization has already happened, conception has occurred. Since conception has occurred, it’s an abortion.

  69. MBPharmD says:

    @radleyas: @johnva: @DoubleEcho: @jswilson64:

    Nice of you all to decide that the patient’s right (to receive medicine) trumps the pharmacist’s right (to not participate in what (s)he feels is abortion). Thanks for making that decision for us.

    For someone uber-religious retail pharmacist who has been practicing 20+ years, this wasn’t an issue when (s)he graduated. But you’re right, they should just be burned at the stake for this. :rolls eyes:

    Non-righteous indignation: The Consumerist Message Boards Trademark since 2007.

  70. Invisobel says:

    @apotheosis: I think in this case it is the job of the pharmacist to dispense medications, end of story. This has nothing to do with their moral dilemma. If they want to run a business and refuse customers on moral ground, that’s great. But if you’re working for a big chain like CVS then you should be doing your job and if you can’t do it then you should leave.

  71. johnva says:

    @DaChicken:

    Wrong.

    Most of the time, it’s believed that the morning after pill works by preventing ovulation. No fertilization takes place in that case (you’re aware, aren’t you, that fertilization does not take place during sex?). It’s been hypothesized that it also may infrequently work by the mechanism you describe, but there’s little hard evidence of that (this is quite difficult to study, since these things take place at a microscopic level). Also, that’s also true of normal birth control pills, so if the morning after pill = abortion, so does the Pill. Regardless, medically you are not considered pregnant until after implantation.

    Also, it’s a subjective religious belief that preventing a fertilized egg from embedding in the uterine wall is an abortion. That’s only true if you believe that “life begins at conception”, which is not a scientific belief but a philosophical one.

  72. Invisobel says:

    @MBPharmD: I don’t think this is a question of forcing people to do anything, but morals can’t always come into play. Would it be OK for a pharmacist to refuse medication to a homosexual HIV infected man because he feels homosexuality is wrong and HIV is the consequence of their lifestyle? Although they don’t take the Hippocratic oath, I feel that people in the medical field have a moral obligation to assist the customer/patient in whatever way possible.

  73. johnva says:

    @MBPharmD: A pharmacist refusing to dispense infringes on the rights of the patient much more than a patient requesting a filled prescription infringes on the rights of the pharmacist. The pharmacist, after all, is not the one making the moral decision to use it. If it makes you feel better, you can rationalize it as you don’t have a choice (because you wouldn’t if the alternative was being fired). I agree that there is a bit of a conflict of rights here. But you don’t have a right to infringe on other people’s rights as part of your own belief.

    And after all, this is a LEGAL drug. If you don’t like that, try to get it outlawed (along with regular birth control, which you should also be opposed to if you’re opposed to Plan B). I just suspect you won’t succeed because society rejects your views, for the most part.

  74. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @MBPharmD:

    Oh please! Medicine is an evolving science. If you’re into that idea, you shouldn’t be part of the process. Stop standing in the way of progress. If you don’t care for the way the business is going, perhaps it’s time to seek another job.

    You aren’t a doctor and have no right to dictate what the patient needs. Frankly, it’s none of your business. Just fill the orders. If it becomes impossible for you, do something else. But don’t you dare deny a person the right to medical care.

  75. johnva says:

    @MBPharmD: Re-reading your post, I’m not sure if I understand whether you support the “right” of pharmacists to refuse medication on moral grounds or if you’re just talking about hypothetical situations. I apologize if I’m ascribing view to you that you don’t hold.

    But as for your situation of a religious pharmacist who got into the field 20 years ago when Plan B didn’t exist…well, birth control existed. And since Plan B is just high-dose birth control for one-time use, I don’t see how it’s much different. I don’t see any reason why the religious should be more opposed to Plan B than to regular BC. Are they just afraid to come out against all hormonal contraception for fear that the public will not side with them? If you’re going to push a radical agenda, be open about it.

  76. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @radleyas:
    Rather, if you’re NOT into that idea …

    We need edit buttons!!!!

  77. Buran says:

    @apotheosis: That is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Accomodating a guide dog is a reasonable accomodation — it doesn’t cost the driver any extra to do it nor does he have to pay a lot of money to make his cab dog-friendly.

    Violate the ADA? Congratulations, you’re now likely going to be on the wrong end of a fat lawsuit, and possibly fired by the cab company you work for.

    No sympathy from me, as someone who has a disability that is protected under said law (no guide dog, though).

  78. Buran says:

    @MBPharmD: You made the decision when you took the job. You aren’t doing your job when you arbitrarily get high and mighty on customers — it’s that simple. You’re paid to dispense medication according to physician instructions.

  79. Buran says:

    @Buran: (or DDA, as in this particular case)

  80. Growly says:

    Actually, I was told by a pharmacist that California state law is that men over 18 and women of ANY age can get Plan B from a pharmacist. ([www.prochoicecalifornia.org])

  81. Lambasted says:

    I don’t care about ethical, religious, other whatever excuse people come up with for not doing the job they are paid to do. If it is legal, you damn well better sell it to me or service me (err, you know what I mean). Period. I don’t intend on being inconvenienced because of your personal hang-ups.

    I have no problem filing suit against a pharmacist/store for breaking the law by not selling me Plan B. Or a suit against a cabbie who won’t pick me up because I am holding a case of Bud Light. Enough of this politically correct crap is enough!

    I am never going to be a fireman because I cannot lift their pound requirement, even though it’s kinda not fair me being a petite woman and all. I am sure the heavy person burning up in the fire will appreciate the FF Dept not accommodating my particular physical limitation.

    Do your damn job or find something else to do. There are plenty of other jobs you can do that don’t involve servicing the public, or coming into contact with pork, or selling Plan B. Many people who are out of work and looking for jobs so they can feed their families will be more than happy to sell pork, Plan B birth control, or drive the whole Budweiser Clydesdale team around if need be.

  82. eblack says:

    People, please. If you’re sending in a story like this include the offending employee’s name, the store’s address, phone number, and if possible the manager’s name. There’s no point making the story public if you don’t want the public to do something about it.

    As it is, you’re just whining for no reason.

  83. lesbiansayswhat says:

    I’m glad Plan-B is over the counter but as one of the few people who watched Veronica Mars all I think about is how easy it would be to prevent a child you didn’t want that was possibly developing in someone else. The episode also said Plan-B was given in private at a facility. Times have changed. Also, isn’t Plan-B more of a preventative measure than what the ‘moralists’ depict it as (abortive)?

  84. Comms says:

    So what I’m getting here is that CVS hires pharmacists who aren’t well educated when it comes to local law and are generally more interested in shoving their belief system at you than doing their job.

    So, basically, avoid CVS at all costs.

  85. DanaM says:

    @MBPharmD: Very few people who object to Plan-B on religious grounds are going to be ok with regular birth control pills either. As those have been widely available since the early 1970′s, it’s unlikely that there are many pharmacists practicing today who had no warning that they may be in the position of dispensing such. So your example of someone who has been practicing 20+ years just doesn’t hold up.

    In fact, the fact that birth control pills exist at all should be ample warning that medical advances may include morally-uncomfortable possibilities. If you want to be a pharmacist, you simply need to take that into account.

  86. brettt says:

    Ummmm…. are we forgetting something? This is plan B, and if you don’t take it right away, you get pregnant. This pharmacist should be fired immediately for being a lawsuit liability. By “misinterpreting” the law, she is causing physical harm to someone. CVS can easily be sued.

  87. LBM says:

    @phexerian

    “No need to have someone’s license suspended over a matter this small. You wouldn’t want to hurt someone financially over a matter like this? I wouldn’t.”

    Well, now let’s look at it from another perspective. Let’s say that a pregnancy did result from this PharmD’s refusal to dispense. Ever look at the COST of pregnancy and raising a child? It is rather expensive…especially if you don’t have insurance. Or better yet, the cost of an abortion? To find a clinic, come up with the money to have one ($400-1,200), the time off work and the time spent making the decision (that is priceless…).

    So either the PharmD can shut his/her yap and fork the meds over and mind their own business, or the PharmD can accept responsibility for the cost of childbirth/parenthood or an abortion – neither of which is a trivial, small, financial (or emotional) matter.

    What’s next? Refusal to dispense medication to treat STD’s? HIV/AIDS? Smoking illness?

    If you have “moral opposition” to any part of your job…it’s time to find a new job. Even moreso in the field of medicine. Your “moral standards” could wind up inflicting a lot of NEEDLESS pain, and life-altering consequences, on your patients.

  88. weakdome says:

    “we had an “accident” with our condom” … ie: my “friend” left it in Colombia.

  89. hexychick says:

    Before everyone gets up in arms… There is such a thing as a pharmacist’s right to refuse birth control and emergency contraception if they have a moral objection to it. Perhaps this one in particular had that view and was just using supposed laws to cover her moral objection? Here’s somethign I found regarding the individual state laws: one from a pharmacist association: [www.aafp.org]

  90. hexychick says:

    Wrong link. This is the state law one: [www.ncsl.org]

  91. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @hexychick:

    To quote your own link:

    “California pharmacists have a duty to dispense prescriptions and can only refuse to dispense a prescription, including contraceptives, when their employer approves the refusal and the woman can still access her prescription in a timely manner.”

    So, I don’t think the rule was used.

  92. johnva says:

    @hexychick: Somehow I’m guessing that if that was actually the pharmacist’s objection that those laws would protect him or her if she lied about the reason. You probably have to be truthful about your reason for refusing to fill it in order to be covered by those shield laws. BTW, those laws are pure pandering to religious fundamentalists.

  93. crazylady says:

    @brettt: I know everyone calls plan b the “morning after” pill, but in all reality you can take it up to 72 hours after sex…it’s just that the sooner you take it, the better.

    @hexychick: that is very disturbing, and i never understood why people with such amazingly huge conflicts of interest would continue with their jobs – and honestly I can’t believe it’s legal but it is. At least some of them are referring their patients/customers to other pharmacies and doctors that will sell/prescribe it to them. The ones that don’t really need to consider a change in jobs. The other problem is that depending on where you live there might be way more pharmacists unwilling to sell you birth control or EC. It sucks for women, especially because EC isn’t easy to order online in time.

    I’m always insanely paranoid that this will happen, so I always just get a free pack of Plan B from planned parenthood when I go to just keep around until the expiration date, when I get another free pack and keep it around for a couple years, repeat. And I always use condom+nuvaring if I sleep with a guy, so when I need it it’s not cause I was being irresponsible or ignorant.

    The one and only time I’ve used Plan B to date was when I was with a guy who was allergic to latex and we used poly condoms, which tend to be looser than usual..and it slipped off. But we realized it happened pretty fast. Maybe I’m too paranoid. Nuvaring is something like 99% effective..I just wanted to cover my ass.

    @lesbiansayswhat: i have no idea why prolifers like to think that the pill and emergency contraceptives like plan b are abortifacients. They aren’t. It’s pretty damn clear to anyone who’s read the packaging for Plan B that if you’re already pregnant, it won’t help you at all.

  94. CecilMcCecil says:

    Your belief in some flying spaghetti monster does not allow you to only prescribe drugs that have been approved by said flying spaghetti monster.

    This great country was founded on the principle of the separation between flying spaghetti monsters and state.

    Get a new job if you can’t handle it.

    BTW the day after pill is the same thing as taking 3 birth control pills at once. (not the placebos)

  95. jswilson64 says:

    @MBPharmD: Damn straight it does. If you’re being asked to do something in your job that you feel is unethical/immoral, you should take that up with your management instead of imposing your dissatisfaction on your customer. Or find another job.

    You’re free to open your own pharmacy and only dispense the meds you feel are “right.” More power to you. But while you work for someone else who decided their business would stock the legal, regulated med, you dispense the meds according to the applicable laws and regs.

  96. autoclavicle says:

    How much does Plan B retail for? About five years ago, before it was OTC, just getting it at Planned Parenthood cost $55 (because I “wasn’t a member”). I ended up going to some county program and getting it for $7.

  97. DoktorGoku says:

    @nuttycakes: The pro-lifers would say that you aren’t pro-choice, you’re anti-life.

    Whether I do or do not agree with you doesn’t matter here- think about both approaches before you try to pigeonhole with terminology. You’ll end up making a lot more people angry than you bring to your side.

  98. DoktorGoku says:

    @eblack:

    You want to expose somebody to the vitriolic hatred of certain dangerous types that DO crawl the internet looking for articles like this?

    I think if somebody’s going to ask for somebody’s name and place of employment on here, they had better be ready to post their own first.

    Giving the location of the store is enough. Asking for the employee’s name on top of it without revealing your own is cowardly.

  99. JiminyChristmas says:

    @DaChicken:

    Think about this question:

    Is a woman pregnant when an egg is fertilized?

    No. She’s not pregnant until the zygote implants in the uterus. Ergo, if PlanB prevents implantation it is a contraceptive, not an abortaficient.

    If you believe PlanB = abortion that’s fine but it’s your belief, not a statement of fact.

  100. donkeyjote says:

    @vladthepaler: Wait, they can’t recognize a Colombian State Issued ID, but they would recognize a Colombian State Issued Passport?…

  101. donkeyjote says:

    @CecilMcCecil: Actually, my belief in FSM explicitly states that I can’t push my beliefs on others…

  102. dgolding says:

    As a general rule, you will have no joy with a store manager. A pharmacy within a drug store or grocery store is under the jurisdiction of a regional pharmacy manager who is in charge of a half dozen pharmacies, but not the stores they are in.

    I’ve had to call a regional manager once, and, because they can’t be at all their stores all the time, they are usually VERY grateful for any information like this. In this case, the pharmacist not only gave CVS bad PR, this guy had been costing them SALES. Don’t even bother with an official complaint – this guy will be history if you call the regional manager.

  103. Landru says:

    @chemicalx9:

    “we have the right to refuse anything to anyone at anytime”

    If they can’t do the job, i.e. dispense products that are legal and that the store carries as a matter of normal business, then they should find another line of work. What give them the right to pass that kind of judgment?

    Suppose a doctor is someone who thinks old people don’t deserve medical care; do they “have the right to refuse anything to anyone at anytime”? Or a pharmacist who thinks penicillin is the work of the devil and won’t prescribe it?

    There is plenty of room in the world for kooks. Just not in the area of medicine and pharmacology.

  104. chrisjames says:

    @Landru: Doctors have the right to refuse treatment, care, and medical advice to anyone. They also have the right to get thrown out on their asses and get their license stripped. You see, people don’t just get rights taken away from them because they’ve entered a profession, they get them abridged when they so agree by taking employment. If I had a private practice, I would refuse anyone who believed that I have to work for them, and that would be my right … and yours too if you were a doctor.

    The CVS pharmacy–what we’re supposed to be talking about–has rights too. It’s up to whoever is responsible for the pharmacy to determine who gets what and why, and how to reprimand employees who devalue the business. To us, we benefit if they let anyone buy anything. We also benefit if they let us walk around in the back and take whatever we want for free. Get it? You have rights, they have rights, respect that boundary and just buy from somewhere else.

  105. davidfbecker says:

    Hmm. I live in Hawthorne. I suppose I could see that happening here. You meet some interesting characters here. Depending on which Hawthorne CVS they’re referring to, it may not exactly be in the best of areas. Some parts of Hawthorne are considerably less nice than others.

    For those not in the Know, Hawthorne is just south-east of LAX, and about 13-ish miles southwest of Downtown LA. There are definitely worse parts of LA to find yourself in.

  106. amoeba says:

    @chrisjames: Are you serious? Did you had a look at the FDA website? “On August 24, 2006, the FDA approved nonprescription behind-the-counter access to Plan B from pharmacies staffed by a licensed pharmacist for women 18 or older; a prescription-only form of Plan B will remain available for young women aged 17 and younger” Anyone has the right to buy it from the pharmacy. Please tell us who told you that the pharmacies have the right not to sell it.

  107. nardo218 says:

    @MBPharmD: If a pharmacist thinks plan B is abortion, then s/he’s a stupid fuck who didn’t go to school and should be fired for incompetence.

    Plan B is birth control. Do research before you shoot your mouth off.

  108. welsey says:

    When I was living in London I had to go get emergency contraception, and they also have a law that you have to be over 16. But the pharmacist just asked me if I was old enough rather than checking ID, which I think was maybe because I look really young even though I was 20 at the time. I always appreciated that action on her part…age-restrictions and IDing on this stuff are bullshit, generally. Of course I had to pay the equivalent of $50 for it, but it would have been FREE!!! if I had bothered to make a doctors appointment (but I didn’t feel that I had the time, given the situation).
    Honestly, I found just having to deal with all of that crap so stressful and obnoxious that I can just imagine having a pharmacist give you extra shit over it is absolutely the last thing you want to have happen.

  109. coolkiwilivin says:

    What a bunch of friggin hypocrites. Let’s be honest people what this is about, it’s about ending the life of an unborn child. It would similar to saying maybe some of the “posters” here could be aborted b/c they haven’t reached a certain level of development or not recognized by certain individuals as having attained life. Violence to the unborn or born is not an acceptable solution for life. The tone here is that children are a bad thing, like a cancer that needs to be treated.

    As for the separation of the church and state, heck this was intended to do the opposite of what people quote it for. It was to prevent the state from meddling in the affairs of the church NOT vice versa. Please you separation people read it and understand it.

    If you are so worried about having kids, show some restraint and NOT have sex. Having sex is a big adult decision, but most posts here treat it like it’s nothing more than picking which restaurant you want to eat at or what you want to wear. But most people here don’t want told they can’t do something or they shouldn’t spend money they don’t have or be responsible for the decisions they make no matter who they effect.

  110. chemicalx9 says:

    @Landru:

    Hey dont get me wrong…I am all for not having an unplanned pregnancy. I frequently dispense Plan B, and shake my head at the very small minority of pharmacists that have a problem with dispensing it.

    However, you cant have it both ways. The general public wants us to be shopkeepers simply selling a product but also expects us to protect them and have a professional / expert opinion on their meds.

    Lets say I refuse to sell a rx because the dose is wrong, and potentially fatal, but the doctor in their wisdom ignores me on it am I wrong to refuse? The rx is legitamate but may cause potential harm.
    I am all for removing the liability I have…that would be fantastic save me malpractice insurance and a hell of a lot of stress.

    Its a slippery slope if we start forcing pharmacists to fill one thing and do not remove the legal liability…whats to say I wont be legally required to fill a toxic dose of a rx and then be sued because I filled it?

  111. chemicalx9 says:

    @amoeba:
    who said we had to? just because 7-11 can carry cigarettes doesnt mean they have to sell them.

  112. MaliBoo Radley says:

    @coolkiwilivin:

    You do realise that a majority of people who use birth control have children, don’t you? It’s a matter of controling the size of ones family, not eliminating family altogether.

    Plan B is not an abortion, it’s pregnancy preventer. It doesn’t kill an unborn child, it simple prevents the pregnancy from happening in the first place.

    As for other people sex lives .. uh, mind your own business. Perhaps if you had an active, fulfilling sex life, you wouldn’t be so concerned about what others are doing in the bedroom.

  113. amoeba says:

    @chemicalx9: It is a law and mandatory to sell Plan B to anyone who needs it, and it is on the FDA website and it is approved. So, if I want to buy cigarettes and I get denied, then I have the right to report them. You cannot put two things different as the same. But, the CVS pharmacy cannot deny an emergency contraceptive pill (which is not an abortive pill, as many puritans and moralist say on this forum)if it is a OTC medication and it is open to the people. So, why you make a big deal about something you won’t use. I have.

    @chemicalx9: I wonder if you are the hypocrite. You and the other people should take some Oral contraceptive Pill Class or get informed at your local health care.

  114. DoktorGoku says:

    @radleyas: The second you implied anything about anybody else’s sex life, your post lost its entire credibility.

    I don’t care what levels others stoop to- does that make it ok for you to act in such an immature manner over internet comments? Are you that bothered by internet comments? Somebody like yourself might state that “if you had an active, fulfilling life, you wouldn’t be so concerned what other people are saying on the internet.”

  115. JiminyChristmas says:

    @coolkiwilivin:

    …or be responsible for the decisions they make no matter who they effect.

    Using contraception is exercising responsibility. By your logic, having children is a punishment for having sex. Then again, when it comes to fundamentalist authoritarians logic doesn’t really figure into things for them anyway.

  116. johnva says:

    @coolkiwilivin: If a pre-implantation embryo (ie, a fertilized egg before the woman is even pregnant) is an “unborn child”, then your god is the biggest abortionist out there. Because some estimates show that 60-80% of embryos fail to ever implant and are naturally flushed out of the human body.

    The woman is not pregnant until implantation. Period. And Plan B mainly works by preventing ovulation and thickening cervical mucus, thus preventing sperm from reaching egg in the first place. Maybe you’re confused and thinking of RU-486, which is a true abortion drug? Plan B is just a hormonal contraceptive like any other birth control pill (except it’s high dose).

    If you’re opposed to all contraception, then I don’t even know how to argue with you. But you might find that a lonely position to hold.

  117. chrisjames says:

    @amoeba: Huh?! “The FDA approved…”, “will remain available…” Please, I’m thinking I’m not speaking the same language. Where does it say, implicitly or explicitly, that pharmacists have an obligation to sell Plan B?

    You have a right to buy Plan B, which means ONLY that the government will not step in and say you can’t. The pharmacist has a right to sell Plan B, which means ONLY that the government will not step in and say they can’t. Of course, that’s not entirely true because the government is restricting the age at which you can buy and the pharmacy can sell without a prescription, and technically you are being granted a right (a contradiction), but that’s the way it is. The pharmacy has a right to do business as it sees fit within the confines of the law, which does not state that they are obligated to sell Plan B, or anything at all if they so choose. That would be a crappy way to run a business, but it would be their choice, as it would be yours if you were in their shoes.

    Do you think the CVS pharmacy is a public institution? Do you think all businesses bend and sway to the will of the consumer; to you, who, like them, only want to make a buck? What naivete. Hug your property close while you can because that attitude is just begging to have it ripped away and fed to the “greater good.”

  118. richcreamerybutter says:
  119. Tijil says:

    @apotheosis:

    One word answer? Yes.

    Don’t like the law or refuse to follow it, find another job.

    So long as one is in a job that has specific legal requirements, those requirements need to be met. If your beliefs prevent you from following the law, find another job.

    No excuses. None.

    TOm

  120. richcreamerybutter says:

    @coolkiwilivin: I assume you don’t partake much in “the sex?”

  121. Madjia says:

    Ah US businesses and foreign ID’s, always entertaining.

    Yes US business owners you guys sometimes do have visitor’s from other countries coming over that may need medical care! (or just want to buy alcohol or cigarettes).

    Guess what, tourists/visitors can’t just go to some government agency and get a US ID, see we are visitors, not residents.

    I visit the US a lot, I have a lot of friends there and it really is unbelievable how many times my passport is denied and I have to find another store to buy cigarettes or go to another bar to have some drinks.

    I honestly hope I never need plan B on one of my visits, because it must have been horrible for this couple to be scared to get pregnant and not getting the care they needed.

  122. gooshwa says:

    everyone should just take a leaf out of a nurses book. don’t ass around with finding plan b, just take 2 of your normal birth control pills and an antiemetic. (note efficacy is highest with the dual hormone or ‘full’ birth control pill)

  123. ADA > ACLU in the case of guide dogs v. Islamic drivers. The ADA will trump every time.

  124. Trai_Dep says:

    Like the ACLU would take the side against handicapped people. Please.
    Conservatives – hating Constitution-sanctioned civil rights – would wish it were so. That doesn’t make it true.

  125. BigElectricCat says:

    @MBPharmD: I presume that you would feel the same way if the pimple-faced kid at Subway refused to make your Spicy Italian sub and instead gave you a loaded veggie sandwich with no cheese because HIS moral stance regarding meat and animal products makes it ‘okay’ for him to not do his job.

    IMO, the Subway kid owes you a meat-filled sub. And the CVS pharmacist owes that Colombian lady an apology.

  126. amoeba says:

    @chrisjames: I guess that you and the “others” who “protect” CVS must be working in there or are affiliated to it. I had purchased the Plan B without questions asked or even being looked as a “whore” (I am talking that I live in Utah). So I guess you are the Naive (it is not “naivete”). I will ask my attorney about this issue. And living in a “free country” seem that freedom is taken away from capitalism.

  127. NANACKLE says:

    I’m also a pharmacist and would like to issue my opinion. Most state laws do allow pharmacists to make decisions about who will get medication. The pharmacist might notice that the MD prescribed the wrong medication for your condition, or the wrong dose, or that it might kill you because of a supplement you are taking or of a disease you have. What if you have an addiction? We will not (and can not) give you the medication.

    In addition pharmacists can refuse to give a medication for moral reasons. And this is where is can be a little tricky for those of you with no medical knowledge. Yes, plan B is a higher dose of birth control. But, plan B can work in one of several ways… 1. It can prevent an egg from being released from the ovary or 2. It can prevent the implantation of an already fertilized egg into the uterine wall. It is this second way that it works that is the spark of all controversy… do you believe that sperm + egg = life? Or do you believe that the fertilized egg must be implanted into the uterine wall before you call it life? The difference is millimeters. Physicians who advocate the use of plan B argue that the sperm + egg must be implanted before they call it life. Other physicians, scientists, pharmacists, etc disagree and think that when the egg is fertilized it is then considered a life.

    Argue this one out all that you like.

    Finally, I hate to say this, but pharmacists are also doctors. When people address me they put doctor in front of my name. My degree has doctor on it. Just because pharmacists don’t prescribe medicines in all 50 states does not mean that their training and insight is less rigorous or that their professionalism or knowledge base is less or of lower quality. Those of you that make comments emphasizing that the pharmacist is not the DOCTOR and isn’t a DOCTOR just look silly.

  128. BigElectricCat says:

    @coolkiwilivin:

    “Let’s be honest people what this is about, it’s about ending the life of an unborn child.”

    Thank you for presenting your opinion on this matter, which I do not share.

    Somehow, I doubt you would be as interested in hearing my take on this “unborn child” matter.

    Regardless, have a nice day.

  129. LibertyReign says:

    Wow.. yet ANOTHER example of someone with no interest in the world around them spouting off some random crap they heard or made up and claiming it is the LAW in order to not only violate the law but to impose their deranged views upon someone else’s so-called rights.

    I know I’m shocked..

    It’s amazing how many violations of a consumer’s rights can be chalked up to “YOUR PAPERS PLEASE SIR!” (or ma’am in this case)

  130. LibertyReign says:

    @chrisjames:

    Then don’t carry it..

    Where was your argument again?

  131. chrisjames says:

    @amoeba: You misunderstand what capitalism is. It’s about not taking away freedoms (specifically property, but the two are linked). Your freedom to buy something is the same as a business’s freedom to sell it, to sell their property to you. Taking away the rights, the freedom, of one person is taking away the rights of everyone, including yourself.

    If you find any business practice to be unfair or unsavory, then just walk away and go somewhere else. They may be forcing their opinions and beliefs on you, but by trying to force their hands to meet your expectations, you are doing the same thing to them. Neither party is respecting the transaction, the sole judgement on the worth of the business and your worth as a consumer. Don’t forget the saying here: vote with your dollar.

  132. BigElectricCat says:

    @chrisjames:

    “You misunderstand what capitalism is. It’s about not taking away freedoms (specifically property, but the two are linked). Your freedom to buy something is the same as a business’s freedom to sell it, to sell their property to you.”

    (eyes roll)

    Clearly, you misunderstand it as well. In the case that started this thread, it was not the business that refused to sell a product; rather, it was a specific employee of that business who did so. And it is entirely possible that said employee may have been acting against the wishes and interests of his employer in so doing.

    You have erroneously conflated the wayward employee with the business in this case, leading to the unwarranted conclusion that the business refused to sell the product — a conclusion that is thoroughly discredited by subsequent events.

    High-sounding comments like “(t)aking away the rights, the freedom, of one person is taking away the rights of everyone, including yourself” may sound pretty, but they have absolutely no bearing on or applicability to the situation under discussion in this thread.

  133. chrisjames says:

    @BigElectricCat: You’re right. They do have bearing on the comments I was responding to, which relate ideas quite a bit more threatening than the fact of one employee possibly acting against the wishes of their employer.

  134. kbarrett says:

    As long as a state license has to be issued to sell something, the state gets to decide how that sale takes place.

    If a pharmacist insists on the right to not sell drugs he despises, then I insist that pharmacies all become deregulated … and the government allow anyone to buy any non-narcotic from anyone. Period.

  135. chrisjames says:

    @kbarrett: The state gets to restrict how the sale takes place, not that it must take place.

  136. sonycp says:

    I am a pharmacist and I am frustrated in a way that I cannot get my pharmacy manager to dispense plan b to a male. He insists that he will not dispense until the girl actually walks in and shows her ID, his reasoning being that since the girl is going to be taking it, checking her ID means he made sure that an underage female does not receive the plan b….whereas dispensing to a guy means more changes of him giving to an underage girl. No way of proving that the receiver of plan b is not underage if he dispenses it to a male. I have tried reasoning with him several scenarios where the girl might not be wanting to go in person to get plan b, but to no avail. He actually tries to show that I am doing something wrong and my judgement is wrong by dispensing plan b to males above 18 years. I would like to hear some comments from all of you. thanks

  137. sp101078 says:

    What if a male pharmacist denies sale to males above 18 years because he is not sure whether the person consuming it is above 18 years of age?. I am a pharmacist and my collegues will not dispense to males above 18 unless the girl is also present and shows her proof of id. What I am worried about is some girl who is unable for whatever reason, be it embarrasment or unability to walk, gets denied. I have tried to reason with them, but their reasoning is that they are following the law by making sure OTC plan b is not dispensed to females under 18. Any comments????

  138. kjs87 says:

    Why would they waste time going back to the first pharmacist? I would have taken a good look at the nametag, gone straight to another pharmacy, and called the manager of the store that night.

    • kjs87 says:

      To clarify, I’m not playing “Blame the OP,” I’m just saying this for anyone who encounters this situation: If you face a difficult clerk, he or she isn’t going to get any better, and it’s not worth the time. Go to someone who will do it without the hassle, and get that first clerk in trouble with the manager. If the manager fails to do anything, send it up the ladder.